SAN FRANCISCO — Mayor London Breed announced the launching of a new campaign in San Francisco that encourages people to wear face coverings outside of their houses during a virtual press conference on Wednesday, September 2.

The campaign was developed in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences, the African-American Arts and Cultural District, the Latino Task Force, Self-Help for the Elderly, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and the Opportunities for All organization. It will be part of San Francisco’s COVID-19 strategy.

According to Mayor Breed, the purpose of the campaign is to reach out to people who are not face coverings in new ways so that they adopt this behavior. She also said it was launched before Labor Day because many people tend to gather and do outdoor activities in this holiday. During the briefing she pointed out that this upcoming Labor Day was an opportunity to honor essential workers by “taking action to protect them.”  

The campaign was planned strategically with a “comprehensive, multilingual, culturally competent outreach,” in order to raise awareness in people from every community. It will be spread through social media with the hashtag #MaskTheSFup and it will have presence on TV, radio, print and online advertisements as well. Posters and signage will also be displayed around the city, especially in places where people tend to gather more such as parks. 

A recent survey in the city showed that 71 percent of San Franciscans wear face masks according to city officials. In the release, Mayor Breed said this was not enough because health experts claim that at least 80 percent of people need to follow this behavior to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.

“As a living part of our San Francisco community for nearly two centuries, the California Academy of Sciences is energized to help flatten the curve,” said Scott Sampson, PhD., Executive Director, California Academy of Sciences. “We know science, and we know our city—we’re sharing our research-backed expertise to help keep everyone safe and help us continue to reopen. We all want to support our families, save our favorite businesses, and enjoy magical museum days by the Bay. Your trusted voice for science is asking everyone to wear a mask, now.”

During the virtual briefing the leaders of the organizations that partnered with the city in this effort expressed their believe in the importance of wearing face coverings to avoid the spread of the virus. They emphasized the importance of deploying the campaign in four different languages in order to reach and include the various communities in the city.

Mayor Breed added that wearing a face covering was not only essential to be able to gather safely but also to keep reopening San Francisco.

“We are all eager to see our City reopen more and to be able to support our small businesses, see our youth get back in the classroom and see our friends again,” said Mayor Breed. “This campaign reminds us that it is possible, but everyone has a part to play and wearing a mask, socially distancing, and frequent hand washing is key. The good news is that most people are already on board. But we still have to remind people that we are in this for the long run, and if we want to keep reopening, we will have to keep wearing masks when we leave home.”